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Clarksville moves forward on revitalization

SoVaNow.com / August 14, 2013
Clarksville is moving ahead with the final phase of its downtown revitalization project, by seeking a contractor to make streetscape improvements between Seventh and Eighth Streets along Virginia Avenue.

Phase IV, like earlier streetscape work, calls for the installation of ten new handicap ramps, concrete sidewalks trimmed with brick pavers to match the existing walkway on Virginia Avenue, five new black metal trash receptacles and eight new antique looking street lamps. Additionally, the asphalt along the curbs of Virginia Avenue, in that area, will be removed and replaced.

“Phase IV streetscapes will complete a much needed downtown revitalization project that will make us even more attractive to business development and tourists coming to Clarksville,” said Town Manager Jeff Jones.

Clarksville began a comprehensive revitalization of its downtown area in 2003 hiring Edwards Construction Company to upgrade the facades of several buildings. Once that was complete, work began on the streetscape plans, which included new downtown lighting, installing brick pavers, pouring new concrete walkways and curbing.

Once the façade work was finished, Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), the agency funding the project, authorized work to begin on the streetscapes. J. Harman Saunders Construction of South Boston was hired as the contractor. After installing new lighting and sidewalks through most of downtown, VDOT placed the project on hold. Only recently, according to Jones, did VDOT notify Clarksville that the funds were again available to complete this final phase.

Jones said, on behalf of the town, he is grateful to VDOT for keeping the project alive. He also believes the town received an unexpected benefit from delaying the end of the revitalization. “Some of the water and sewer line extensions and enhancements, completed earlier this year under a separate project, were done knowing what was needed for tie-ins with this final phase.”

Like phases I-III, the current work is funded using TEA-21 money. TEA-21 provided federal money for highways, highway safety, and transit projects. Though the funds are no longer offered by Congress, VDOT had monies left over from other projects which it agreed to use to complete Clarksville’s revitalization.

Contractors who want to participate in the project must submit their bids by Sept. 4. Jones said he hopes to have a contract signed with work beginning later this fall, and the project completed by Spring.

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